Praying for our kids is powerful. It does more to influence their hearts, minds, and choices than anything else. Prayer invites God’s power and love to impact our sons’ and daughters’ lives. Our wisdom and strength have limits, but God can do more than we ask or imagine for our kids.
On a Sunday morning early last year, I popped my head into my daughter’s room. My little “nudge” for her to attend a youth group gathering escalated in just minutes to arguing and tears. I had unknowingly touched a raw place in her heart. The rest of the family headed off to church while we sat on her bed together. We talked, cried, and prayed as we worked to unpack her thoughts and feelings. We didn’t know the powerful prayers we shared that morning would become a turning point in her life.
Our daughter had found herself in a deep valley for months.
She felt unmotivated. Isolated. Disconnected from the God and faith she’d been raised with her whole life.
She took a bare-minimum approach to school, getting by on her natural abilities.
Encouragement to meet new people was met with strong resistance and excuses to stay home.
Her Bible and devotionals gathered dust on the shelf, and her beautiful singing voice stayed silent during Sunday worship.
That morning our daughter shared how she felt like giving up.
Friends she valued had drifted out of her life. She wasn’t ready to open her heart, just to suffer rejection. School felt boring and tedious–she couldn’t muster up energy to explore college or job options. She held an intellectual belief in Jesus but didn’t know how to hear his voice for herself. The Bible seemed dry, and she felt her prayers just hit the ceiling. Low-level depression and anxiety plagued her emotions. She was stuck.
Just weeks after those Sunday morning prayers, we attended a worship service laying groundwork for a city-wide evangelism event. The speaker–Francis Chan–was pleading with the audience to seek God until he was found. She turned and whispered, “Mom, help me!” I wrapped my arms around her and cried out to God in prayer to help her find him in a deeply personal way.
In the weeks and months that followed, a spark ignited inside of our daughter.
God began opening doors to grow her relationships, talents, and faith.
She was accepted into college classes as a high schooler, broadening her circle to include students with similar interest in art.
The door opened for her to join a new community within our church, which led to friendships and a mentorship with a godly leader.
She became a top student at her school, which opened doors to freelance work in design.
College plans are in place, with confidence God is leading the way.
She has stepped up to volunteer as a worship leader and is exploring new ways to serve God.
A specific prayer for friendship was answered through a new, close relationship as God used school, church, and social media connections to bring them together.
As God began answering prayers about our daughter’s circumstances, he began moving greatly in her heart and mind. Scripture was coming alive as if it was written just for her. She prayed bold prayers with a fresh confidence that God would fulfill specific promises of blessing. As her faith was tested by a health struggle, she waited on God and found him faithful to care for her needs. For the first time, the Lord was her God who knew her intimately and loved her with no strings attached.
Our daughter would say her journey with God is just beginning.
But now, she knows she has a God who sees and listens. Her life has expanded beyond the pages of her sketchbook in her room. As she put it, “Now I feel like a whole person, not just a sad person who does art.” Through prayer, God is fulfilling his Word for her:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Our daughter’s life didn’t change because we’re perfect parents.
It changed because she has a perfect Father in heaven who responds to our prayers. He was listening to every one of Rob and my persistent prayers in the months before she reached her breaking point. For her–and for all of our children–we’ve seen more growth happen through prayer than anything we do on our own. While it’s true that attentive care, discipline, and help are needed, prayer is the most essential of all.
Is your child stuck today, too? Are they caught in destructive habits or relationships? Do they argue and resist your influence? Have anxiety or depression hijacked their security and joy? You’ve tried everything–are you discouraged and lost as a mom or dad?
We earnestly believe great hope and change are possible through prayer. Place your child in God’s hands and trust he loves them. With his help and power, anything is possible.
We’re thrilled to share our inspiring resources to help you pray for your son or daughter!
Each book offers scripture and prayers to cover every part of your child’s life.
God bless you and your family!